Dermot to walk 37 miles for £203k church project

Dermot Thomas is walking 37 miles from St Peter's Church in Fleetwood to Blackburn Cathedral.
Dermot Thomas is walking 37 miles from St Peter's Church in Fleetwood to Blackburn Cathedral.
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A Fleetwood man has set himself a mammoth 37 mile sponsored walking challenge in a bid to raise funds towards an ambitious building scheme at the town’s St David’s Church.

Dermot Thomas, 48, of Addison Road, plans to walk from St Peter’s Church on Lord Street, Fleetwood to Blackburn Cathedral this Sunday, and intends to complete the trek in 12 hours.

St David’s is part of the same parish as St Peter’s but the 60 year old church building, on the corner of Fleetwood Road and Larkholme Lane, is set for imminent demolition.

Money raised from the sale of land for housing will help pay towards a £203,000 revamp of the church hall, with new chapel, new kitchen and toilets for community use.

But a final £20,000 is still needed for the St David’s Church Centre scheme.

Dermot (pictured), is a volunteer with the Mustard Seed Group, which provides hot meals at St Peter’s every Monday night from 6pm for people who are lonely or homeless.

He said: “I hope to raise £2,000 and will be knocking on doors in Fleetwood this week.

“The church hall at st David’s is a community place, there is Weight Watchers’ group and a Guides group which meets there, so when the new revamp is complete in January next year, a lot of people will feel the benefit.”

Dermot, originally from the Swansea area in South Wales, says he has fought depression and has been given great support himself at Mustard Seed, which has also staged sessions in the hall at St David’s.

He said: “It is a great parish amenity and that is why I am so keen to help.”

Given the huge walking test he has set himself, Dermot was asked if he felt confident about travelling such a long distance on foot over just one day.

He said: “I’m fairly fit and I have already completed a trial run, so I am confident I can do it.”

Friends from the church will be shadowing him in a van and providing extra drinks and snacks if needed.

Dermot is set to begin his walk this Sunday morning at 8am and hopes to arrive at Blackburn Cathedral by approximately 8.30pm.

Anyone who would like to sponsor him can contact Dermot on 07904 022164.